Delta State University Foundation announces the hiring of its first athletic development officer since the nonprofit organization was established in 1967 to grow, develop, and enhance DSU. Casey Key, whose versatile background as an athlete spans numerous sports, and whose experience working in higher education includes fundraising events, began his duties at the DSU Foundation on Aug. 3.
“I know this position has been much-anticipated, and I’m honored to fill it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to teaming with both Rick Munroe, vice president for university advancement and external affairs at Delta State, and Mike Kinnison, director of athletics, to help bolster the alumni-booster Statesmen Club and our individual sport programs.”
Key earned an M.S. in sport management from University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in 2020 and a B.S. in psychology and a minor in coaching from Mississippi College (MC) in 2017. At USM, he participated in membership drives to encourage new graduates to join the alumni association and was a volunteer assistant for the women’s basketball team. At MC, Key oversaw several fundraising events as president of Shawreth, a Christian fellowship and service club for male students. In between his degrees, he was assistant basketball coach and social studies teacher at McLaurin High School in Florence, Miss., and his hoops responsibilities entailed game preparation and fundraising and more.
In secondary school, Key continued, he played “just about every sport I could—basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, track, and football—which are some of the sports offered at Delta State,” he explained. “Plus, my dad was a baseball coach at Northeast Mississippi Community College and then at Lamar High School in Meridian. So I also grew up playing baseball, another of Delta State’s notable programs. I’d like to think, then, that I know the territory. And I’m eager to help our student-athletes continue to prosper in Div. II competitions as well as in the classroom.”
Of the many reasons why Delta State Athletics boasts 10 national championships, 37 regional championships, and 66 conference titles, along with countless student-athlete academic honors, one relates to backing from the DSU Foundation.
“Creating a position for an athletic development officer was a goal of mine when I arrived to DSU two years ago,” said Munroe. “So I am very happy not only to have someone finally on board to focus on athletics but also that Casey Key is filling the role. He is grounded in sports. He has understanding of fundraising. He’s well-educated. And he has a great attitude. These are exactly the skills necessary for this position. I am confident that he’ll burnish the rich tradition of Delta State Athletics.”